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n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Views of the judiciary on certain elements of restorative justice
Members of the Restorative Justice Centre (RJC) and the Institute for Criminological Sciences at the University of South Africa (Unisa) formed a research team in July 2001 to plan and execute a research survey which aimed to raise awareness of restorative justice and its significance and applications.
A questionnaire was developed to gather factual data and to determine the views (perceptions) of the judiciary about general views on the criminal justice system as well as specific points of restorative justice.
The study was limited to the magisterial offices of Pretoria, Pretoria North, Soshanguve, Ga-Rankuwa, Temba and Mamelodi, which represent the main areas in which the RJC renders its services, making it reasonably representative of the context in which the RJC operates. Altogether 205 questionnaires were distributed to all prosecutors and magistrates working at these magisterial offices for their anonymous completion. A total of 73 questionnaires were returned, representing a response rate of 35,6%. Data from 69 (94,5%) of these questionnaires could be utilised and were computerised. Therefore the actual response rate decreased to 33,7%.
This article focuses on the respondents' views of elements and objectives of restorative justice and restorative justice as a sentencing option.
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